Ranking Denver Broncos Team Needs After Four Games


Robert Ayers’ contract situation could force Broncos to place a priority on DE this up-coming offseason. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting on a 4-0 record and getting ready to take on a good Dallas Cowboys team, the last thing on most Broncos fans minds right now is the 2014 NFL Draft.

However, I love the draft, and if you love it to that’s probably why you’re reading this right now. Therefore, I thought it would be fun after a quarter of the season to maybe power rank the Broncos’ top positions of need at this point, and perhaps find some players to watch at those positions on another perfect college football Saturday.

Power Ranking Needs (scale of 1-10, 10 being highest, 1 being lowest level of need)

Quarterback: The Broncos have the best QB in the game, and they definitely like the depth they have with Brock Osweiler and Zac Dysert. Nothing to see here.  — 1/10

Running back: Knowshon Moreno, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, and C.J. Anderson are all young backs with fresh legs who are currently leading the NFL in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) which is a big deal. The Broncos are getting great production out of the running game, and they have a first, second, and third round pick from recent drafts competing for carries. — 2/10

Wide Receiver: Eric Decker is an impending free agent, as is Andre Caldwell. After this season, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas will have one year remaining on their rookie deals. It’s fair to expect the Broncos to make some moves at this position after this season, but I’d prefer keeping Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas for the long term. Gerrell Robinson and Tavarres King are the Broncos’ toys on the practice squad. — 5/10 (free agent situations pending)

Tight End: This is the deepest position on the team arguably, but the Broncos are set with Julius Thomas and company. Even if they traded or cut Jacob Tamme, this position would still be fine. — 1/10

Offensive Tackle: Come time for the 2014 NFL Draft, Ryan Clady should be healed and I think he and Orlando Franklin are one of the best OT duos in the league. Chris Clark is a good backup who has been re-signed and the Broncos also have sixth rounder Vinston Painter on the practice squad. There’s a chance they could look to upgrade their depth situation here. — 3/10

Offensive Guard: Another position that is pretty well set for the Broncos, but Zane Beadles’ contract expires soon. Chris Kuper’s health is an unknown at this point, so the Broncos could be in the market for an upgrade at guard this offseason. — 6/10

Center: Manny Ramirez who? This guy has come out of nowhere. He earned a contract extension but the Broncos also have J.D. Walton coming up on an expired contract. In all honesty, Walton shouldn’t be too expensive to re-sign unless the Broncos don’t want him back. He is a good player when healthy. Ramirez is also a good player. This is another position that could go either way. — 6/10

Defensive End: Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers have the DE spots locked down, but Ayers is in a contract year. Malik Jackson is a valuable reserve, and Shaun Phillips is also a free agent after the year. This could be a spot where the Broncos look to seriously upgrade in terms of maybe going after a big time pass rusher this offseason. If they choose to let Ayers go, this will be a huge position of need. Quanterus Smith should be in the rotation in 2014. — 7/10

Defensive Tackle: Denver used its first round pick on Sylvester Williams, and they also have some very good players in Kevin Vickerson and Terrance Knighton up front. Mitch Unrein provides good depth and the Broncos have some guys who can swing inside on passing downs if need be. — 4/10

Linebacker: The Broncos could stand to add another player, maybe two, to the linebacker positions. You have to look at the contract renewal of Wesley Woodyard and Von Miller coming up, but I think you have to find a way to keep Woodyard. He’s a team captain and is just too important to let go anytime soon. Miller won’t be going anywhere either. Nate Irving, Danny Trevathan, and Steven Johnson are all also pretty good players in their own respect. Maybe another guy here for depth, but this is a good group. — 3/10

Cornerback: This is the deepest position on the roster. However, the Broncos are going to have to deal with Champ Bailey and a potential position switch in the near future, as well as the fact that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent after the season. It would be great if he could stick around. Chris Harris and Tony Carter are good players, and the Broncos have Kayvon Webster coming up. — 2/10

Safety: Rahim Moore and Duke Ihenacho should be the safeties for the foreseeable future. The Broncos might look to add a swing CB/S type player but they have to like their depth with David Bruton also back there, and Quinton Carter coming back off of injury. You might add some depth here for competition. — 4/10

Special Teams: Possibly the best unit on the team. Make sure everyone is re-signed? — 1/10

Top Needs Overall

1. Defensive End (7/10)
2. Guard/Center (6/10)
3. Wide Receiver (5/10, contract situations pending)
4. Safety/Defensive Tackle (4/10)
5. Linebacker/Offensive Tackle (3/10)
6. Cornerback/Running Back (2/10)
7. Quarterback, Tight End, Special Teams (1/10)